|Beth S Macre on Etsy|
Little Clay Houses
I have been making little clay houses for 8 years. I sell them on Etsy and in local arts and craft shows. Although I am not the only artist that makes little clay houses, there are not many, that I know of. There are others that sell them on Etsy (that are very cute), but I feel like mine are unique to those. Not to say that mine are better than others. Just made differently. As with anything creative that you sell, you need to make your product stand out from the rest.
The Creative Process
Occasionally people ask how to make something like my tiles or my houses. All I can say to that is to explain what materials I use (see my list below) and suggest that they buy some supplies and start creating. I took high school art and a ceramics class in college that taught me the basics of working with clay. The rest I taught myself. When I see something that I like, I do the research about the process and develop my own process and try to make mine unique from the other works that I admire. All artists, makers, and small business entrepreneurs should be doing the same. Find what you love to do and add your ideas to make it your own. You shouldn't take one person's idea and copy it. But you can make something that has been created before and make it original. Add your own ideas to it. Do some online research to see what is being done in your medium. Don't copy. We have seen how plagiarism has gotten some people into hot water lately. Plagiarism is not just about copying words. An artist owns copyright to their own original creations just as a writer does.
I will happily tell you what kind of supplies I use and where I purchase them. What I will not tell you is a step by step process of making my little clay houses. For one, they are all different. They are all one of a kind, but I do add, to each one, something to make them unique to my work. That would be something that you will want to come up with for your own work. You would not want someone else to use your design, use your words, or use your ideas. So make your work original. Make it obvious that it is your creation. I have spent the last 8 years working on my designs and learning what works and what doesn't through trial and error. It is an ongoing process to come up with new ideas. I keep a sketchbook to jot down my ideas and work them out later.
What can you do to make your work stand apart
from another artist?
How can you be authentic with your own art?
Supplies I Use
Low fire white earthenware
- I buy it locally from a shop owner that is about a mile from my house. But I used to purchase it through Blick.com.
Variety of Ceramic tools
- I purchased my tools through Blick, several years ago. These tools last a long time. A good variety of wooden tools and carving tools would be a good start for a beginner.
Canvas cloth covered board
- I used cotton canvas that I stapled to a piece of 1/2 inch plywood.
Small Kiln (for small work)
- I purchased mine online, from Clay-King.com.
Variety of Low Fire Glazes
- I use Mayco Stroke and Coat (shown in the photo) They can be purchased online also. I have purchased from Blick, but they only sell the Pint size bottles and the 2 oz. bottles in sets. I like to order from Clay-King or The Ceramic Shop for the 8 oz. bottles and 2 oz. sizes for testing new colors.
Watercolor/Acrylic type paintbrushes
- I use a variety of styles of watercolor and acrylic brushes to apply glaze. You just need to experiment with a variety of styles and sizes to see what works best.
The supplies that I use are pretty basic supplies, except for the kiln. A kiln is not something that you would just go out and purchase without making sure that that is something that you really want to do.
So if you do not have a kiln, then you will need to find someone or some organization that does have access to one. I will talk more about my kiln in a later post. I wrote a little about the kiln in this post: My Little Kiln.
Until next time, have a wonderful week!